The Guard (2011)
Director: John Michael McDonagh
Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle
To say I enjoyed The Guard is a big understatement. I loved it. Its director, John Michael McDonagh, is the brother of Martin McDonagh, who was the director of In Bruges – Martin served as an executive producer on The Guard.
There are many similarities between The Guard and In Bruges, and not just because Brendan Gleeson stars in both of them. Both films have a dark sense of humour, which you don’t know whether you should be laughing along to.
When an international drug smuggling gang arrives in County Galway, FBI agent Wendell Everett teams up with the local Sergeant, Gerry Boyle, to take them on. While Everett is strait-laced, Boyle is anything but…
Boyle is very likeable, and the things he comes out with will be quoted for a long time: “I don’t know what street you buy your cocaine on, but it certainly isn’t the street I buy my cocaine on”. As Boyle, Gleeson is on top form. Cheadle is perfectly cast as Everett, too. How he managed to keep a straight face, I don’t know.
While the plot is very straight-forward, the sub-plots that happen along the way are very, very funny. The IRA makes an appearance, as do a pair of Dublin call girls. Add in Boyle’s frail mother and an odd boy who turns up in the strangest of places and this becomes much more than just an ‘odd couple’ movie.